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Auburn QB Kiehl Frazier moves to safety, QB race narrows

By Chip Patterson | Staff Writer

Kiehl Frazier, Auburn's former starting quarterback, will permanently move to safety for 2013. (USATSI)
Kiehl Frazier, Auburn's former starting quarterback, will permanently move to safety for 2013. (USATSI)

Auburn's quarterback competition narrowed when Kiehl Frazier, the Tigers' former starter, made a permanent move to safety.

Gus Malzahn said he and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee met with all four quarterbacks -- Frazier, Jonathan Wallace, junior college transfer Nick Marshall and freshman Jeremy Johnson -- on Sunday. There the decision was made to give a majority of the first-team reps to Marshall and Johnson.

"We told them all that, 'Hey these two new guys, we feel have earned the right to compete for the job and they're going to get the majority of the reps with our ones this week,'" Malzahn said. "That's not to say that Jonathan Wallace will not be the starter come Day 1, but we are going to give those two new guys a real chance to compete for the job and really show what they can do."

Frazier opened 2012 as the starting quarterback, but after hearing the news on Sunday the 6-foot-2, 224 pound former high school offensive player of the year suggested a move to the defensive backfield.

"I'll be able to help the team at safety -- that will be my focus 100 percent," Frazier AL.com. "Something I'm fully going to embrace."

Wallace appeared in nine games in 2012, getting most of his action down the stretch of the Tigers' 3-9 season. Malzahn indicated that Wallace's experience will keep in the race, despite falling behind Marshall and Johnson at this point in camp.

"We've seen them both improve each practice and both of them have extremely live arms," Malzahn said. "They both can run, and both of them are athletic. It's just a matter of how quick they can get acclimated. We're still looking for a couple of other situations to see how they react and see how their teammates react. With Jonathan Wallace, we know exactly what we have with Jonathan and we have a lot of respect for Jonathan."

Auburn will kick off the Gus Malzahn era on Aug. 31 against Washington State.

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